‘Day Shift’ Evaluation: Jamie Foxx is the Vampire Hunter as Working Stiff

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Day Shift” is a vampire thriller full of lock-and-load ultraviolence, starring Jamie Foxx in imperious badass mode. At coronary heart, although, it’s a knowingly eccentric goof of a film, to the purpose that it’s onerous, for some time, to not discover it agreeable, at the same time as you register what a preposterous piece of fluff it’s. Sadly, it’s additionally an arduous piece of fluff. It’s stuffed with blow-you-away motion scenes, and it’s additionally stuffed with guidelines — a satirical vampire cosmology that’s enjoyable, till it begins to be simply convoluted sufficient to offer you a headache, particularly when the foundations are utilized as inconsistently as they’re right here. Directed and co-written by J.J. Perry, “Day Shift” needs to be a dessert drenched in blood. That provides it taste but in addition weighs it down.

Foxx performs Bud Jablonski, a Los Angeles vampire hunter whose day job is driving round in an historic pick-up truck to scrub and repair swimming swimming pools within the San Fernando Valley. His one and solely aim is to get his arms on $10,000, which he must pay for the braces and grade-school tuition of his 8-year-old daughter, Paige (Zion Broadnax). (If he doesn’t have the cash by Monday, his ex-wife, performed by Meagan Good, will transfer the child to Florida.) He plans to get the money by promoting vampire fangs, which, as soon as extracted, might be fairly worthwhile, relying on which bloodsucker they arrive from.

Sounds easy, proper? However “Day Shift,” which is directly an undead motion film, a cheeky good cop/loopy cop buddy comedy, and the story of a troublesome however saintly divorced dad out to save lots of his household, is among the extra perversely twisty vampire flicks in current reminiscence. There are, on this film, 5 sorts of vampires, organized by age: Southern, Japanese, Spider, Uber, and Juvenile. Acquired it? Don’t fear in case you don’t, as a result of none of it involves a lot.

How do you kill the vamps? By blasting them via the guts with particular African onerous wooden, then reducing their heads off with a silver blade. There’s a black-market sunblock that enables the vampires to be out within the SoCal daylight for perhaps 20 minutes. (That doesn’t come to a lot both.) And as soon as they’re killed, they launch a particular gasoline that you just’ve acquired to get off you. Foxx has a particular orange-yellow powder to make use of within the bathe for that. Necessary rule: Don’t let the powder get in your butthole!

That the vampires are killed by decapitation is the closest the movie involves having an inviolable regulation (type of like “Kill the mind and also you kill the ghoul”). Till, that’s, a key vampire will get decapitated solely to put his head proper again on himself, like one thing out of “An American Werewolf in London.” There are additionally vamps who’re loyal to people fairly than different vampires. Why even ask why?

“Day Shift” is the type of film the place Bud enters a suburban home, and there are two youngsters enjoying video video games (they’re juvie vamps), and after they get blown away, Bud realizes that the home is a vampire hive, at which level one of many vampire-hunter brothers he has attached with declares, “Showtime, bro.” Cue the vampire extras in pale make-up and what appear to be costume-shop fangs bursting via doorways, dropping via ceilings, and clawing via partitions to develop into immediate ballistic fodder. The vampire fight scenes aren’t significantly suspenseful, as a result of all of them come all the way down to the identical factor: The gun blasts ship the vamps hurtling backward, however they immediately restore and proceed to come back at you — spinning and doing spider-walks, attacking in a contorted frenzy. Till, that’s, you possibly can chop the top off, which this film does with an abandon that turns into numbing.

The chief baddie is a glamorous vampire real-estate agent, Audrey (Karla Souza), who’s out to colonize the Valley by establishing the homes there as vampire hives. Sadly for her, Foxx’s Bud is a army veteran who’s completely mercenary about vampire killing, fiercely cut-and-dried in his motion mega-moves. His vampire-hunter-as-working-stiff vibe is tied to the movie’s flakiest and, in a approach, its most authentic ingredient. In L.A., it appears there’s a union of vampire hunters — actually a employees’ union, just like the Teamsters. Bud used to belong to it however was kicked out for violating so many laws. However his legendary mentor and fight buddy, Large John (Snoop Dogg), has the clout to get Bud reinstated.

When you’re within the union, you possibly can promote vampire fangs for far more cash. However to take action, Bud has to comply with go on the hunt with Seth (Dave Franco), a desk jockey who’s there to verify he doesn’t violate any union codes. He’s just like the rookie cop assigned to experience with the reckless veteran trasher of protocol, solely on this case the beginner is a terrified geek who retains pissing his pants.

Jamie Foxx is such a very good actor that he provides even a skewed product like this one the advantage of his quick-cut retorts and style hero mystique. However the film, as an alternative of turning into extra invested in Bud’s state of affairs, begins to depart the human story behind. It turns right into a free-for-all across the time that Snoop Dogg’s Large John exhibits up with a round machine gun, which fires rounds with such a punishing present of velocity and pressure that after he tears via a roomful of vampires, it takes a second for us to understand that they need to all nonetheless be alive since none of them are decapitated. By then it’s the film that has misplaced its head.

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